SUDAN – Human Rights Watch highlights ongoing plight of Sudanese Christians

Source:  www.barnabasaid.org

Date:  September 28, 2017

In an open letter to the United Nations dated 21 September, the international organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) has highlighted the ongoing persecution and suffering of Christians in (north) Sudan.

The letter stated:

“The [Sudanese] government continues to restrict freedom of religion and belief. In early 2017, officials in Khartoum announced they would demolish at least 27 churches within Khartoum. In May the Sudanese Church of Christ building in Soba Aradi was demolished without notice by security officials. Two church members were also arrested and witnesses were instructed not to photograph or record the demolition. The church was the sole remaining Christian place of worship in the Soda Aradi district. Officials have also prohibited construction of new churches under the rationale that no new churches are needed due to the secession of South Sudan and the presumed exodus of ethnic Southerners, who were predominantly Christian.”

In 2011, South Sudan gained independence from (north) Sudan following years of conflict, in which the north tried to impose sharia law on the mainly-Christian south. Since 2011, the Sudanese government has continued to target historically Christian regions in the south of the country, such as Southern Kordofan.

HRW state that aerial attacks carried out on the Southern Kordofan region, supposedly targeting anti-government rebels, appear to have been paused since November 2016; Christians in Southern Kordofan had been forced to meet together in forested areas to avoid being targeted by the Sudanese air force. Although Christians no longer face regular attacks from the military, the government’s continued blockade of the region, “has deprived civilians of basic goods necessary for their survival, including access to life-saving medical assistance.”

From Human Rights Watch here

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